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Has The Time Come To Discontinue The Miss America Pageant?

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 09.09.14
Has The Time Come To Discontinue The Miss America Pageant?
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"There She Is" ... but what for?

Is The Miss America Pageant just another reality TV competition as profound as an episode of The Bachelorette? Is it a charming but harmless nod to a piece of Americana, or a harmful and patronizing objectification of women?

Is it hard to understand, at a time when women outnumber men in universities, and the average woman is a size 14 – why bikini-clad stick figures are strutting around on stages to get scholarship money? Or is there a real-world link to success that contestants gain by competing in this arena?

Hardly anyone would categorize today’s Miss America contestants as unintelligent, inarticulate, apolitical, or detached. Most have attended prestigious universities, earned professional degrees, have exceptional communication skills, maintain a healthy lifestyle and are involved in their communities. What’s not to like about that? And aren’t impressionable teens who have seen the latest Music Awards Shows or celebrity selfies - likely to be unfazed by the pageant’s swimsuit competition?  

As a cultural institution, the Miss America Pageant has come a long way since its 1920’s beginnings as a tourist attraction in Atlantic City. Its historical influence in defining our perception of beauty has been prodded along by 3 memorable Miss New Yorks – namely, Bess Myerson, the first Jewish Miss America in 1945, Vanessa Williams, the first African-American Miss America in 1984, and 30 years later to the day, Nina Davuluri, the first Miss America of Indian heritage. The manner in which each of these women rose above the backlash that followed their historic wins, is perhaps the most effective silencer of pageant critics to date.

But is that really enough to justify continuance?

Should new categories of scored competition such as Problem-Solving, Creativity, Diplomacy, Athleticism or Technology – be added to things like Swimsuit, Talent and Social Platform in order to crown a more relevant ideal? Why do we need a Miss America?

We'd love to hear your opinion - Should the Miss America Pageant be continued or discontinued?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below and you’ll be entered to win a $75 Visa Gift Card.*

*This giveaway is open through Sept. 23rd to USA residents over 18 years of age. One entry per person. No purchase necessary.

Congratulations to Winner: Khalessifan


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  • stef42678 By stef42678

    I don't think Miss America should be continued because there is so much drama! I think it would be best if the organization just gave out scholarships and didn't hold the pageant competitions.

  • Poonam1421 By Poonam1421

    I don't thinks its a great idea to discontinue it/..

  • SaabStory By SaabStory

    Objectification for sure, end it.

  • illyjns By illyjns

    I don't see no harm, since it have opportunity for young girl/women. I love the idea from coolestmommy to make change on different part of the pagent

  • twinkieluv By twinkieluv

    yea, i still see it as a bunch of women parading their looks

  • samhow By samhow

    It's time to end it. We need to focus on other traits and not on body and looks. America has to quit fixating on appearance and see beyond.

  • DvusGrl By DvusGrl

    It's all about politically correct issues now a days, everyone is beautiful and so forth. I think it should be how it used to be, based on beauty. I'm sorry if that would offend but there are plenty of other competitions for other gifts and traits. I actually enjoy the beautiful women. I'm not offended that someone received better "looks" than me. It's all in how you see life

  • cmachiela By cmachiela

    They can do without the swimsuit parade. I think that is so unprofessional.

  • mhindal By mhindal

    discontinued for sure!

  • olivetulips By olivetulips

    As much as I respect and value a nation's culture and identity, I do feel that The Miss America Pageant distorts women's idea of what's beautiful and important. I think that the pageant can be used as a great platform to promote education for women, etc. and it could be tweaked to reflect this! :)

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